Newsletter-cum-magazine of Oasis Movement YEAR 2 I ISSUE 26 I Jan 1, 2009

MY OPINION STRONGEST

My opinion is strongest,
and I say this in earnest,
telling the government what to do,
Is a futile intellectual exercise.

Firstly I doubt that they could,
for if they could, they would,
wait not would they for criticism,
to kill the head of terrorism.

Lacks the government skills,
They care not who kills.
Neither commitment nor political will,
to cure the nations’ ills.

Economic inequality & political instability,
Persecution of the minority,
In Pakistan & Afghanistan
Are the root causes

And the big daddy of them all
Kashmir – which started it all!
I ask what can you & I do
to address these causes?

Only can the government know
and do what is needed now.
Therefore our activism must,
Address governance first.

Artful international diplomacy,
& education to build literacy,
Trade, economics and development
That will help build employment,

In the neighbouring nations!
Only these actions when taken,
Will make our nation secure,
However long & difficult it may be.

 Yes we must speak,
But will that gives us what we seek?
For the rot has set in deep,
For too long have we been asleep!No longer can we wait for evolution,


We now need a unique revolution,
A complete upheaval of the country’s polity
Without doubt a task of huge enormity!

 

Individuals committed and competent,
Working outside & inside the government,
Ready to commit at least their whole life,
For this problem is way too rife!

Now to address that thought,
That you should by now have thought.
Why make a mountain of a mole-hill,
When we are not really that ill!

 

All this talk of political action,
Is neither urgent nor an obligation!
I ask you now the same question,
Why make a mountain of a mole-hill?

“Less” than 200 people have died!
But how many of us cried,
When the “aam aamdi” has been dying
the last 4 decades & in the last few months.

Why are you so terrified now?
Why are so shocked now?
Is it because you were immune,
That you were unable to commune,

The pains of all those,
Who family died on the streets,
On buses, trains, cycles & crowded areas!
Are you terrified like me,

That this time it could have been my wife
And I at dinner, with at stake our life?
This is not supposed to happen to us!
This one has been far too close for comfort!

But really there’s no alternative,
To look at things with some perspective.
Abject poverty & hunger, floods & man-made disasters,
Communal riots, crimes & medical negligence,

Have been bigger killers!
Alas! They were all avoidable to a degree large,
The same cause as for wretched Mumbai,
Merely for lack of good governance!

You’ll all agree with me,
There’s no need to get started
on the long list of well known ills,
Education, health care, infrastructure

And all those things
That we take for granted,
People like you and me!
But before you cringe any further,

I intend not to lament,
On our silence and our inaction!
Now that we chosen to speak,
Now that we are thinking to act,

Limit not ourselves must we,
To shouting about the terrorist attack.
That revolution that we are all waiting for,
But which has been in no hurry to start,

Is what must get sparked now.
You and I must be catalysts,
To propel India and the people,
To become what they should be!

 

-Vardan Kabra
Fountain Head School
Surat

UNDERSTANDING DIVERSE CAUSES + CONCRETE ACTIONS MAKE A HOLISTIC SOLUTION

Let me first congratulate you for bringing this subject in open forum for discussion. This is one of those issues where reactive response is most common and you hear a lot of noise about actions without any concrete, feasible or holistic solution to the issue. The anger, frustration & helplessness are justified under the circumstances and I personally respect all the views irrespective to what I believe in. I strongly believe that there is a combination of different and very diverse factors for such a colossal destruction to materialize, which are as under:

A) Looking at the modus operandi and the technology used it becomes quite clear that there is a state sponsorship. The whole planning, logistics and execution clearly depicts a military operation, a proxy war from a neighbouring country.

B) Our internal security is a miserable failure. Time and again we have failed on this front. Proper sytems and vigilence could have gone a long way to dilute or avoid this event.

C) Every victim is a potential terrorist! In a country where there is a huge diversity in terms of religion, language, belief systems, etc., any intolerance or injustice will create a potential for such future events. It needs a strong motivation for individuals in their 20’s and 30’s to give up their lives. We have to introspect to understand where we have gone wrong.

Actions to address the above:

1. We need to strengthen our security especially coastal security. A competent and independent authority needs to be established within our military just to take care of coastal security. It is stupidity to blame others when we keep our borders very porous.

2. I strongly propose a central ministry for internal security, which will coordinate with different state and central police, intelligence and military. In case of such event, only this ministry is responsible to combat and take action. Needless to say, this ministry should be headed by a competent leader

and always selected and not elected.

3. Heads should roll! People who are responsible and have failed this event should be asked to leave and a precedent should be set to ensure that they all become more responsible in future.

4. Understanding the nature of the social fabric in our country it is time that we all become more and more tolerant to each other.

5. A strong diplomatic stance needs to be taken in gathering international opinion and diplomatic pressure needs to be exercised on our neighbouring country.

6. There is one action which should not be taken - to view our own citizen as unpatriotic just because they follow the same religion as terrorist. On the contrary we should use this event to prove our unity and tolerance for each other, which will go a long way to promote peace.

-Parag Shah
K Girdharlal
Surat

ACTIONS NEXT

We watch news items of terror attacks, may be in Kashmir, in Ahmedabad, in Jaipur or in Mumbai unconcernedly sitting at home eating or drinking tasty food/drinks as if we have nothing to do with this. Anguish was expressed in a recent movie 'A Wednesday' against terrorism in an apt manner. All of us enjoyed, appreciated it. Then what? Our sensitivity is frozen or probably dead. The need of hour is not 'what next?'. It should be why we are unconcerned. If we can not reach the roots of this riddle, it would be meaningless to try to find out solution to this long pending question. Let us awake ourselves and start afresh from home, street, village, town, city, state to reactivate our sensitivity. We should feel pinch/prick if pin is thrust pricked to others. Priority should be to cultivate such sense and sensitivity. Otherwise such exercises and attempts to find out solution shall remain futile and fruitless.

- Bharat Kapadia
Rajkot

I was quite perturbed and shaken up by the Bombay-blast. It was a matter of great satisfaction that, people's opinion has clearly turned against terrorism and it was expressed by giving tributes to the martyrs, lighting the candles and formation of human chain. But this can give us consolation The only thing that comes out immediately is that good people must come together and unite as an organized force to be reckoned with. Only then non-violence will become relevant in the present circumstances.

- Yogendra Parikh
Anarde Foundation

Anger, sympathy, restlessness are few of the first obvious expressions/feelings which I had when I heard about the Terrorists attacks on Mumbai. But when I thought calmly, I feel that as a citizen we should first concentrate on our own self. We should ask a question to ourselves that AM I A GOOD CITIZEN ? IF NOT, WHAT SHOULD I DO TO BECOME A GOOD CITIZEN ? I am confident that the answer of these questions builds the culture of the entire nation. The “direct fight against the terrorism” is a very BIG term for the common man but definitely a COMMAN MAN’s character builds the character of the NATION and such character is very impressive to fight against terror. Hence we need to first concentrate on becoming a good citizen. The definition of the GOOD CITIZEN need not required to be given necessarily; it should be the self explanatory. Disciplined behavior in each and every aspect of our life leads to the good citizenship. We can kickoff the fight against the terrorism by starting the process to become a good citizen.

-Hitesh Ganatra
Ahmedabad

Being a Mumbaikar, I was very frustrated by these incidents. Being the commerical capital of country and paying 60% of the total tax that country gets, we felt our city was ditched by both the Khakhi and Khadi, (the Police and the Politicians).

The foremost step we can take now is to make all Government Officials responsible for ensuring security answerable.

-Ajay Maheshwari
Mumbai

Look at history again. Buddha, Allah, Rama, Mahavir, Gurunanak and Christ….no one could stop wars, only the tactics changed. And the modern tactic of war is Terrorism. Whatever we do, this war can not be stopped unless we come out of borders and create a community - a global village.

-Shahid
Bangalore

I would like to appeal to those who strongly believe in non violence should come together on one platform and guide people how to begin this movement of Non Violence and Peace.

Yatish Mehta
(through Email)

 

Next Actions according to me are,

1)To be a good human and better citizen;

2.) Put up our voice against any Non-Secular activity around us.

3.) Teach our children to be tolerant to the differences of Faith/ Religion.

4.)Participate actively in electing our Leaders.

Mehul Panchal
Oaiss

I won’t blame Indian leadership for everything. It is the same leaders who are chosen by us. We get what we deserve.

Strength of any big building depends heavily on character of its bricks. A house with good architecture and good quality bricks can withstand storms and tornadoes

StYm
Bangalore

 

We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. But, the poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. No matter how small our home is, our children can be rich and full of life, if they are raised in loving and caring atmosphere.

In the race of giving our children the best of material resources and expecting them to perform best in every field, we should not use love as exchange for performance. In the end, we only end up making our children more deprived.

The important thing is to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become

We take part in aerobic activity to improve our cardiovascular endurance and burn fat. We weight train to maintain lean muscle tissue and build strength. Those are the two most important elements of a fitness program, right? Actually, there are three important elements. Often neglected is flexibility training.

To know more about flexible benefits, click here>>>

 

 

Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it.

 

 

 

The curse which lies upon marriage is that too often the individuals are joined in their weakness rather than in their strength -- each asking from the other instead of finding pleasure in giving.

Simone de Beauvoir

  Editor's Note

Dear Readers,

It was heartwarming to receive your responses for the discussion we initiated on 'Actions Next' in wake of Terror Attacks in Mumbai on 26th November 08.

We hope this issue will help all our readers to have a glimpse of different perspectives and to develop a holistic understanding.

Thank you once again to all those who contributed.

Wishing you a more committed, peace-giving and fulfilling 2009.

New Year wishes to all our readers.

Team Alive

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We should teach our children COMPASSION,

more than JUSTICE

 

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Learning From 9/11 History

This is exactly what we do not want to do.

"I say bomb the hell out of them. If there's collateral damage, so be it" [Senator Zell Miller, NY Times 9/13/01] (in response to 9/11 attack)

This is based on linear thinking: the number of terrorist acts depend on the number of terrorists. Reduce the number of terrorists, by bombing them, and it will reduce the terrorist acts.

In this line, Bush would "track down and punish those responsible" and the US would lead "the world to victory in the war against terrorism". It misses the point that indiscriminate US actions would build up the stock of anger against the US, which is exactly what the terrorists wanted. Worse still, it generated a pool of people ready for recruitment to become terrorists. Linear thinking has no leverage.

"Americans' mental model appears to be that our military and economic superiority will make our violent actions a 'slam dunk'. That is, we will be victorious in our war against terrorism.

The 'other side, in turn, is eager to draw us into a holy war that involves all Muslims, (not just the terrorist camp.) Both parties, to borrow a phrase from Bob Dylan, feel that "God is on their side”.

"Strike against terror" is a misleading expression.

What we are striking against is not the real cause or the root of terror. The object of our strike is still human life. We are sowing seeds of violence as we strike. Striking in this way we will only bring about more hatred and violence into the world.

This is exactly what we do not want to do.

 

The two pronged approach :

One defensive and the other offensive.

The defensive approach deals with questions such as entry through borders, where the terrorists gain entry , and how they get trained in all combat, flying planes, manning ships, security issues etc.

The "offensive" one is the real answer, it does not try to minimize the possibilities of attack, rather, it seeks to eliminate the causes of terrorism in the first place.

-Andrew Jones and Elizabeth Sawin, Sustainability Institute.

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  What They Said

The root of terrorism should be identified, so that it can be removed. The root of terrorism is misunderstanding, intolerance, hatred, revenge and hopelessness. This root cannot be located by the military. Bombs and missiles cannot reach it, let alone destroy it. Only with the practice of looking deeply can our insight reveal and identify this root. Only with the practice of deep listening, understanding and compassion can it be transformed and removed.

- Thich Nhat Hahn

Just after Sept 11, some reporter asked me, why terrorism happens. I told him that my view is that such acts are not possible unless you have very strong hatred and very strong will power and determination. That tremendous hatred comes from many reasons. The causes of this hatred may be going back to centuries. Some people say that the WEST has the cruel history. These people may also see the achievements of the Western Countries – in terms of the economy, education, health and social achievement – as a result of exploitation of poorer countries, including Arab Countries.

- The Dalai Lama

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  Alive Archives

 

Forpast issues of ALIVE please click here>>>

.

Team Alive

  Poonam Golani

  Kshama Kataria

  Sheeba Nair

  Ami Nanavati

  Umesh Patel

  Jwalant Bhatt

  Jolly Madhra

  Sanjiv Shah

Please note, views expressed in this issue are essentially those as given by the readers.

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